China's Yangtze River is a popular place for tourists. The Shengsi Islands, Sijiao Island in particular, offer subtropic climates perfect for sea bathing. Natural reefs, cliffs and warm water draw in crowds to its 394 tiny islands every year.
Photographer Zhou Jie visited the Shengsi Islands this year, but rather than capture the usual images of sandy beaches, she documented a fascinating find.
The island of Gouqi has been abandoned and left to return to nature. Ivy and native island plants have been slowly reclaiming this tiny village on the outskirts of Hangzhou Bay.
Entire structures are taken over by plants.
Nobody lives on the island and it has been uninhabited for quite some time.
The area was once popular for fisherman during the winter season.
More than 100,000 fishermen would visit the Shengsi Islands every season. Zhoushan used to have China's largest fishery.
But pollution drove away and killed off the largest fish species, crippling the local fishing industry.
Today, China's fishing industry has diversified, leaving the Hangzhou Bay's economy unable to support itself.
The fishing villages, such as Gouqi, were abandoned. Many residents moved on to work in shipping, service and hospitality in the main tourist area of the Yangtze River.
Today, only 18 of the 394 islands are considered habitable.
Zhou Jie, who goes by Jane online, captured and shared these incredible images of Gouqi's exterior.
She even showed some rare glimpses of the island's interior spaces.
It’s surprising that Gouqi has retained its natural beauty, being so close to a tourist location.
Luckily, the island is slightly out of the way and many dispute its exact location.
So, for now, the remains of Gouqi's village are quietly untouched by humans.
Credit: Douban | Amusing Planet